Small Business Show 87 Part 3: Company Focus – Smart Wall Paint

For this weeks Company Focus Kehlan is talking with Smart Wall Paint. Ronan Clarke has developed a special paint which, when painted on to any surface, allows that surface to be a whiteboard.

Ronan talks to Kehlan about developing chemical compositions and bringing unique ideas to market.

The Small Business Show is broadcast each weekend on Clare FM radio & Listened to by over 16,000 people a week ( official JNLR figures ).  Items from the show are published as podcasts throughout the week on FocuSMEIreland.com.

5 Irish Companies Go Bust For Every Day In July

Five Irish companies collapsed each day this month – and half of the businesses stress-tested across the economy showed signs that they were on the brink of failure, according to the latest figures from Vision-net.

The figures covering the period between July 1 and July 25, show that 131 companies were declared insolvent – down 15pc on the same month last year.

Of those, 97 were liquidated, 33 entered receivership, and an examiner was appointed to one company.
This month, Vision-net stress-tested 9,428 Irish companies – and 49pc were found to be at high risk of failure.

Companies in the hospitality, construction, IT, motor, and wholesale and retail sectors were least likely to survive, according to Vision-net’s analysis.

The month of July recorded 2,750 company and business start-ups, compared to 2,871 in July last year.

Confidence Improves In SME Sector – Retail Still Suffers

The first quarterly SME business trends survey results for 2012 from ISME, the Irish Small & Medium Enterprises Association, confirms that business confidence among the SME sector has improved, with confidence levels at their best in five years. While a huge level of uncertainty still remains over the domestic economy, the export market and a portion of the international situation seems to be improving, led by improved figures from the US, both of these factors are having a positive effect on confidence.

- Following a sharp decline in Q4 ’11, confidence has recovered, while still in negative figures, to minus 1, from a -24. Business expectations have hit a +5, a massive increase from the previous quarter of -26.

- Exporters are by far the most optimistic about the economy and its future and their Business expectations have risen to a +32, while all the other key indicators for exporters are in the plus range with export outlook at a high +64. Exports in services continue to rise and should increase at a rate of 3.6% for the year.

- The Retail Sector remains the most pessimistic at -14, followed by Manufacturing -6, while Services have come back to a +3 from a -6 in Q4, 2011.

- Current turnover remains in negative territory, albeit improving, with sales expectations rising to +23 from a +10 in the previous quarter. The Association expects a further modest growth through the remainder of 2012.

- While SMEs continue to reduce employment, the number of companies with fewer employees has reduced on the previous quarter, with a net 11% of companies reducing employment, an improvement of 2%. While employment expectations have improved, the pick-up in jobs is quite weak and needs a boost from Government.

- Investment, both current and future has shown a gradual improvement, with more SMEs intending to increase their investment than those who intend to reduce. However it is expected that investment will remain subdued and as the household spending is still in decline, the retail sector will continue to operate well below its peak where there is still excess capacity. The difficulty in accessing bank credit for new opportunities will also act as a dampener on new investment

- The outlook for a return to profits has continued to improve in this quarter although a majority of businesses are still in loss making territory.

The Quarterly Trends survey was conducted at the end of March and had a response rate of 21% with 630 responding.

In Focus: Planning That Special Day…For Him & Him – GayWeddingsIreland.com

Gay Weddings Ireland.ie is Ireland’s first and only gay friendly wedding site, completely and solely dedicated to the gay community. They provide the gay community with everything needed to plan the big day by giving access to all gay friendly wedding suppliers.

Marian Persil from Gay Weddings Ireland talks to focuSMEireland.com about catering to a niche market and it’s pros and cons.

Gay Weddings Ireland are also arranging Ireland’s first ever Gay Wedding Fair on the 26th of February at the Absolute Hotel in Limerick. Marian also chats to us about this unique event.

In Focus: Changing The Way We Learn Guitar – Riffstation

According to the makers of Riffsation, this is ‘the ultimate guitar software application designed for all players of the guitar from beginner to pro. It gives you the power to learn the chords, master the riffs and create custom jam tracks using songs in your own music collection.’ Continue reading